Bangladesh have left out seniors Salma Khatun and Rumana Ahmed from their consolidated white-ball squad of 16 for the tour of Sri Lanka starting later this month. This will be the first time Bangladesh will be without these two stalwarts in ODIs, although the team played a match without this pair in the Women’s T20 World Cup in February this year.
Women’s selector Manjurul Islam has said that Salma and Rumana, who have combined 274 caps in international cricket, are rested keeping in mind this year’s busy schedule. The Sri Lanka tour comprises three ODIs, which are part of the Women’s Championships, and as many T20Is.
“The biggest challenge on this tour will be the weather and conditions,” Manjurul said. “We have built the team thinking of these two factors. We have taken some emerging cricketers, those who did well in the Under-19 World Cup recently. We have rested a few senior cricketers. We have a lot of cricket this year at home and abroad. Fitness will be a big issue in Sri Lanka. We have taken all this into account when selecting this squad.”
Apart from Salma and Rumana, they have also left out young pacer Marufa Akter and opener Sharmin Akter. Sultana Khatun is the newcomer in the squad.
This will be the first limited-overs bilateral series between Bangladesh, who leave for Colombo on April 25, and Sri Lanka in women’s cricket. Both teams have collected two points each with Sri Lanka occupying the eighth spot after six matches Bangladesh are seventh after three matches in the Women’s Championship points table. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan last June while Bangladesh’s points have come from two abandoned matches in New Zealand last December.